The precise control of neutrophil-mediated inflammation is critical for both host defense and the prevention of immunopathology. In vivo imaging studies in zebrafish, and more recently in mice, have made the novel observation that neutrophils leave a site of inflammation through a process called neutrophil reverse migration. The application of advanced imaging techniques to the genetically tractable, optically transparent zebrafish larvae was critical for these advances. Still, the mechanisms underlying neutrophil reverse migration and its effects on the resolution or priming of immune responses remain unclear. Here, we review the current knowledge of neutrophil reverse migration, its potential roles in host immunity, and the live imaging tools that make zebrafish a valuable model for increasing our knowledge of neutrophil behavior in vivo.
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